”Yamaguchi Kohodo” Making inkstones presented to the royal family

”Yamaguchi Kohodo”
Making inkstones presented to the royal family

Inkstones loved calligraphers

Long time ago, travelers who visited Kumano on pilgrimage all brought back Nachi Blackstone as proof of their voyage. This stone is a mineral produced in Kamikawa, Kumano city. When polished, it is a shiny jet black, giving off a beautiful wet sheen which cannot be seen in other precious stones.
Currently, Nachi Blackstone is not only used for gardens, it is also sold in molded form such as ”go” pieces or ornaments called Nachi black hand-polished ”kogei”. The most famous of them all is the inkstone or ”suzuri”.
The high quality and hardness of the stone has the ideal ”grinding texture” that is sought by calligraphers.

The difference is obvious with the first experience

”Yamaguchi Kohodo” is a well established store which makes inkstones for the royal family. According to Koho Yamaguchi, the second generation president, stores which makes authentic products always allow customers to try it. Once they grind the inkstone, the difference is obvious, he told us.

Nakata tried grinding for himself, and also learned about the basics of making inkstones. He also made a key holder using Nachi Blackstone with his name ”Hidetoshi” as proof of his pilgrimage to Kumano, just like the people of the past.
Strangely, grinding the inkstone is calming, and the Nachi Blackstone inkstones made by Yamaguchi are all quite beautiful. Perhaps this is the opportunity to take up calligraphy, one of the basic skills that was practiced in the old days.


Nachi black inkstone Yamaguchi Kohodo
167-2 Nachizan, Nachikatsuura, Higashimuro, Wakayama Prefecture